Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Battle of Caldiero 1805

A scenario from Age of eagles based on the battle near Verona in Italy where Marshal Massena fought the Archduke Charles.  It was rear guard action by the Archduke as he tried to withdraw from Italy to help defend Vienna after the Ulm fiasco.  The two forces were similar in strength.

The battle started in fog.  This was simulated by the Austrians making a map of their deployment & Starting the battle with no troops down on the table.  The French then deployed all their forces within 12" of their table edge & had the first turn.  (as in pic above).  For the first 3 turns Austrian troops were put down if the French moved within12" of them.  All the Austrians were to be revealed after their 3rd turn.
The French advanced their cavalry on their right & were met with a hail of musket balls & grape when they ran into the Austrian left.  They also found that the village was occupied by Austrian infantry, but immediately deployed artillery to soften up the garrison. 
The fog has lifted to reveal the Austrian deployment. The French cavalry fell back from the infantry in the wood with significant losses & are moving to go round their flank. The Austrian cavalry reserve in the centre is moving to meet them.  Half the village fell quickly to a massed column attack, the rest of it is being blown apart.
The French have taken the village.
On the near flank the Austrian cavalry commander was faced with 2:1 odds but attacked anyway figuring that the chasseurs had been badly mauled by musket fire & that he was owed some good dice after a month of bad ones.
On the far flank the other half of the Austrian cavalry dissuaded the French infantry from advancing.  In the centre, the Austrian fell back to get out of range of the muskets in the village.
Fortune did favour the Austrian cavalry & they have broken 3 of the 4 French cavalry units.   In the centre the French are moving up their artillery to prepare for another infantry attack.  
The Austrians have pulled back their left & centre.
On the far flank the Austrian cavalry threat has prevented the French left form joining the attack in the centre.  On the near flank the French artillery has clear the Austrian flank guard, but the French infantry has still not been able to close in on the Austrian centre. 
The French right is finally in position to finish the Austrians off, but it's too late as night is falling.

The position is similar to the historical result. The Archduke held out to nightfall then made an orderly retreat.  So the game was draw.  The French (Mark, SteveJ & Mitch) executed a sound attack, but the Austrians (Jim, Chris & Mike) put up a sound defence playing for time.  The successful Austrian cavalry counterattack was decisive in saving the battle for the Austrians, as if the French cavalry had won there, the Austrian position was outflanked & doomed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Wars of the Roses again

We had 6 players each with their own battle to command deployed at random & with side determined at random. Jim, Mark & Steve for York. Mitch, Mike & Chris for Lancaster.

Both sides overlapped the enemy's left. The Lancs are on the left/far side of the table, from the left: Lords Mitch, Mike & Chris. From the left, the Yorks are Lords Jim, Mark & Steve.
On the left Mitch has engaged Jim's defensive position on the ridge.
In the centre Mike is advancing to support Mitch's attack on Jim, while mark has sent his infnatry to support Jim & his cavalry to support Steve.
On the right Chris is setting up to defend himself from Steve + Mark's cavalry, but also sent doem of his cavalry to assist Mike.
On the left Jim is holding off Mitch's attack.
On the right Chris is in trouble against superior numbers.
On the left Jim had got the upper hand but was then stymied by a dice led recovery & his battle has broken.  On the right Chris's battle has been broken. The centre battles have only just got engaged.
Steve's battle & Mark's cavalry are moving to support Mark in the centre.  Mitch's surviving cavalry are moving to attack Mark's left flank. 
The battle should have been decided at this point.  Mark's white knights on the left have 11 dice to 6 against Mike's men at arms covering his left flank.    But Mark got just one 4+ to Mike's 5 & the cavalry broke instead!  A win by the knights would have swept down the flank of Mike's battle, but instead the  loss put Mark's battle below half strength & shaken. 
Steve's battle remained in good shape to continue the attack, but Mark pulled his shaken infantry back into the wood so it wouldn't get ridden down my Mitch's cavalry & in so doing exposed Steve's cavalry to a  flank attack. 
Despite that loss, Steve still had enough troops to pull off a win, but nightfall ended proceedings before a decisive result was reached & the Lancs got away with a draw.


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Wars of the Roses

Both sides had two battles which started the battle in randomly located deployment zones.

We only had three players & drew lots for commands.  Steve as the Lancastrian had two battles at opposite ends of the table.  Mike 's battle is the one in the middle on the far side.  Jim's is in the foreground. 
Steve's two battles both move on Mike's battle.  Jim's foot is moving his foot to distract Steve's right & his horse to distract Steve's left. 
Mike has a narrow front between the table edge & the creek to defend in each direction. 
Steve's right flank infantry defend the river line & both sides settle down to exchanging arrows on that front. 
A good run of dice has helped Steve getting the better of the fight on Mike's right, but on th other flank Mike has used the wood to good effect to hold his own.  
On the far flank Steve had advanced his foot forcing Jim's cavalry to face it rather than assist Mike. 
Steve continues advancing on Mike's right.  Jim sends his knights across the river to assist.  This leaves only his light cavalry to face the foot.
Another run of good dice has allowed Steve to break thru Mike's right & into the flank & rear of his left & Mike's battel is broken.
Jim's foot is getting the upper hand on the left, but his horse is shot to pieces & he has no alternative but to withdraw. 



Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Napoleonic: Austrians v. French

French: Jim, Chris & SteveJ.  2 Legere, 6 Line, 2 Cuirassier, 2 Dragoon, 2 Hussar, 2 Fa, 1 HA.
Austrians: Mark & Mike: 8 Line, 2 Cuirassier, 2 Dragoon, 2 Hussar, 2 Uhlan, 2 FA.
We recycled last week's terrain.
The Austrians deployed first on their side of the stream.  The French deployed second on the plateau.

The Austrians are on the left in the pics.  They are advancing their infantry in the centre towards the stream.  On the far flank their Cuirasssiers & Hussars are advancing while their Dragoons have formed column intending to move to the other flank.
The French infantry are deployed defensively in an L on the reverse slope of the plateau. Their Cuirassiers & Dragoons are advancing on teh Austrian right .  Their Hussars are in reserve behind their centre.
On the near flank the Uhlans have broken the first attempt of the Cuirassiers to cross the stream & fallen back up the slope, but the 2nd Cuirassiers have not got across the stream.
In the centre the Austrian foot are crossing the stream.
On the far flank the French have formed a line of squares to face the Austrian horse.
On the near flank the Austrian Uhlans have been reinforced by Dragoons & are counterattacking.
The left of the French infantry are holding the line, but the Hussar reserve has been to committed to support them.  On the right of the French infantry line the Austrians have attacked the angle in the their, forcing the end battalion into square then breaking it with musketry.

On the near flank the French cavalry have gotten the worst of the fight & fallen back on the defensive while the Uhlans have fallen back to regroup.
The left of the French infantry line has been broken but the Hussars are counterattacking the Austrian foot who have suffered high casualties in the infantry fight.
On the far flank the Austrian infantry is still exploiting the overlap of the end of the French lineas 3 French battalions are tied down in square by the Austrian cavalry. 
The French infantry centre has collapsed completely.  The French counterattack by their Hussars is petering out.  
In the centre French battery has stopped the advance of the Austrian Hussars, but the line of squares is now under attack by Austrian lines. 
The end square has been broken by the fire of 2 battalions in line & thsi puts the vfrench below half strength so they fail Army Morale.

The French cause was not helped by the inability of their cavalry to get any decent dice, but their deployed had a weakness in the angle in the line on the far flank which Austrians skillfully exploited with good infantry & cavalry coordination.

Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Fere-Champenoise 1814

An Age of Eagles scenario adapted to our house rules. 
Marmont's Corps is being pursued by masses of allied cavalry.
French: Chris & Mark.
Allies: SteveJ & Mitch

Allied cavalry is coming onto the table in a column at the far end.  The French are retreating towards the camera.
The Allies have deployed a light brigade in their centre, a cuirassier brigade on their left & a mixed brigade to their right.  Another brigade is still off table.
The French have deployed an infantry brigade & artillery on the road & their cavalry on their right as rearguards as the other infantry brigade marches on.  
On the right the French dragoons are holding off the Cuirassiers.
In the centre, one square is holding off the allied advance guard while the rest of the brigade begins to retreat.   The other infantry brigade is deploying in a line of squares  along the line of retreat.
A long column of allied cavalry is marching down the left side of the table.
The French rear guards are still holding on but on the brink of breaking.
The Allied right wing is deploying to attack.
The French rear guards have broken as the Allied attack struck the French left flank.  The French cavalry is all but destroyed.  Three squares are pinned down by cavalry as the allied artillery is deployed to finish them off.  Only two French battalions & two French batteries get off the field unbroken.

This may have been an unbalanced scenario with the French having little chance of actually winning, but interesting none the less.  The result was similar to historical, so as a game it was about a draw.